Clear Creek Trail

Clear Creek Trail

By Joe Betz

Clear Creek Trail has an entry point on the south side of Bloomington, Indiana. When taking it, you will find the creek, but it is hidden behind trees and brush and you must seek it out — otherwise, the paved path leads you near the creek but you are often deprived of its charm. This poem remembers my family's first walk on the trail.

You must step off the paved path
following divots splitting bushes,
young oaks, to find the creek.
We took our daughter.  Soundless
the sandstones crush with a stick’s weight
near the water’s edge.  Shaded,
the lines of a child’s face deepen,
hedge mazes to get lost in.

***

Orange lilies trace a stone then cut
through brush flanking a new route back
to the trail.  We’ll take it, soon, but first
we’ll step slowly to the water, bend,
smile at our reflections splintered
by leaves falling, faster now, in this wind.

Joe Betz is an Assistant Professor of English at Ivy Tech Community College-Bloomington. He earned his MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Missouri-St. Louis. His poems have been published in journals such as Hayden’s Ferry Review, The Portland Review, and The Paris-American. He is the winner of a Goldstein Prize, given by Michigan Quarterly Review.

Featured image by Vmenkov / CC.